News Round-Up: December 31, 2020

Norm Lewis at 54 Below
Norm Lewis at 54 Below
Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis

Some news items you might have missed:

News Observer: LGBTQ people in North Carolina can no longer be prevented from getting domestic violence protective orders, the N.C. Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. North Carolina had been the only state in the country to withhold emergency protections from people seeking protection from abuse by a same-sex partner.

Instinct Magazine: My editor at my other journalistic home, Adam Dupuis, shares this wild and wooly tale of a stalker who utilized 11 different email accounts and numerous Growlr accounts in order to cyberstalk him. #strangeness

54Below: My fabulous friend (and Tony Award nominee) Norm Lewis has the perfect song for tonight – from his recent Feinstein’s/54 Below streaming concert NORM LEWIS: Christmastime Is Here! 

Facebook: Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) wrote a lengthy breakdown of efforts to undermine the election, concluding there was no evidence of voter fraud. Sasse adds that – in private chats – no Republicans in Congress think the election was stolen.

NBC News: Grafton Police have arrested the Aurora Health Care pharmacist who intentionally spoiled more than 500 doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine valued around $8,000 to $11,000. He has been arrested on charges of first degree recklessly endangering safety, adulterating a prescription drug, and criminal damage to property.

Washington Examiner: Donald Trump promised in the 2016 campaign to eliminate the federal debt over a two-term presidency. Instead, he will leave office having added massively to the debt. Since his inauguration, the total national debt has increased 30% from nearly $20 trillion to $27 trillion as of Monday.

News Round-Up: December 28, 2020

Daniel Newman launched an OnlyFans account
Daniel Newman launched an OnlyFans account
Walking Dead star Daniel Newman

Some news items you might have missed:

Playbill: Billy Porter and Cyndi Lauper, who won Tony Awards for starring in and composing, respectively, the Tony-winning Kinky Boots, will reunite December 31 for a duet in Times Square on ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2021, which kicks off at 8 PM ET.

Gay City News: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on December 23 making single-use restrooms statewide open to people of all genders. Under the “gender-neutral bathroom” law, all public spaces including restaurants, bars, and schools are required to remove sex-segregated signs like “male” and “female” from single-occupancy restrooms.

Apple TV+: After 12 years in prison, former high school football star Eddie Palmer (Justin Timberlake) returns home to put his life back together—and forms an unlikely bond with Sam (Ryder Allen), an gender non-conforming boy from a troubled home who has trouble fitting in. Coming exclusively to Apple TV+ on January 29.

Edge Media: Despite more than 1.3 million coronavirus cases throughout Mexico and upwards of 131,000 in the state of Jalisco — home to the bustling LGBTQ city of Puerto Vallarta — some gay party promoters intend to kick off 2021 with a bang that could potentially become the super spreader event of the season. White Party, we’re looking at you…

Reuters: Novavax Inc has begun a large late-stage study of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, the drug developer said on Monday, after delaying the trial twice due to issues in scaling up the manufacturing process. Novavax lags behind other drugmakers in the global race for COVID-19 vaccine, with shots from Pfizer and Moderna authorized for emergency use in the United States.

• OnlyFans: Openly bi Walking Dead star Daniel Newman (top image) has launched an OnlyFans account telling fans ” It will all be PG to maybe R-rated tho just warning you no X.” Click here to visit Newman’s OnlyFans account.

 

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News Round-Up: December 27, 2020

Scarlett sleeps on my head
Me and my sleeping companion, Scarlett

Some news items you might have missed:

Life: In an attempt to escape Brody’s over-the-top puppy energy last night, this (above) was where Scarlett decided she wanted to sleep. #doglife You can check out more photos of the pups first Christmas with us here.

Gr8erDays: The Santa and Rudolph puppets used in the 1964 stop-motion classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (the only known survivors), were appraised and sold in 2006 for $10,000. Last month, the pair sold at auction for $368,000, and are now on loan to the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta.

KIT212: Check out Kenneth’s weekly round-up of the what’s what in LGBTQ publications like Eric Guilmette covering the latest from Wire Magazine.

Eric Guilmette covers Wire Magazine
Eric Guilmette covers the latest issue of Wire Magazine

Deadline: I was excited for, but somewhat disappointed by, the recently released Wonder Woman 1984. Most of the smart folks I follow on social media felt the same way. And yet, the film did well enough ($85 million worldwide so far) that Wonder Woman 3 has been fast-tracked.

Mediaite: During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir said Sunday he’s encouraged by the timeline of the vaccine rollout and expects that “any American who wants a vaccine can be vaccinated by June.”

LA Blade: After months of developing an Instagram following that revolved around their married life together, husbands Matthew Olshefski & Paul Castle woke up on December 20 to find their account had been pulled down. A short message informed them the account was disabled “for pretending to be someone else.” In a post on his own account, Olshefski wrote:

“On December 20, hundreds of LGBTQ+ creators were targeted by trolls. Instagram is ignoring the bug that allows trolls to get an account taken down and is not responding to requests to have accounts reinstalled. Our couple’s account was disabled for ‘pretending to be someone else’ — this is a tactic used by hate groups to disable and erase the presence of LGBTQ+ creators on Instagram.”

Dr. Fauci Gets COVID Shot To Convey Confidence & Safety In Vaccine

Dr. Anthony Fauci receives the Moderna vaccine

From ABC News:

The country’s most prominent infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, received his first dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday in a ceremonial event at the National Institutes of Health.

The event was shown live on national television as part of an effort to reassure Americans that the vaccine was safe and effective.

“I feel extreme confidence in the safety and the efficacy of this vaccine and I want to encourage everyone who has the opportunity to get vaccinated so that we can have a veil of protection over this country, that would end this pandemic,” he said as he waited for his shot.

I sure hope my arm looks that good when I’m 80-years-old.

News Round-Up: December 17, 2020

Austin Wolf scored at the 3rd annual PornHub Awards (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

OUT: Adult entertainment giant Pornhub held its third annual awards last night. The winners are decided by real data (based on what users searched, viewed, and sought after the most this year) from PornHub.com, which according to its website brings in over 140 million daily visitors and over 55 billion searches. Among the winners was Austin Wolf (above) who scored as ‘Top Daddy Performer’ of the year.

Boy Culture: Patti LaBelle’s gay Trumper nephew made headlines when he became involved in a deeply weird online mystery, in which he was apparently tweeting on behalf of a white Republican. Miss Patti had some words with her nephew.

LGBTQ Nation: Federal judge slaps down an Ohio law that bans transgender people from correcting birth certificates. Score one for the good guys!

Instinct Magazine: Josh Brolin is breaking the internet with his birthday suit photo.

TMZ: Atlantic City is auctioning off the opportunity of demolishing the long-closed, decaying Trump Casino.

The Advocate: Legendary gay actor Sir Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings, X-Men movies) is among the latest to get the new vaccine for the COVID-19 virus. The 81-year-old star said he’s feeling “euphoric” after getting his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. “I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone.”

FDA Advisers Give Thumbs Up To Moderna Vaccine

A man wearing a face mask during the pandemic

Excellent news! An FDA advisory committee has recommended approving the coronavirus from Moderna for use in the fight against COVID-19.

From the Washington Post:

Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine got the greenlight from a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee Thursday, paving the way for authorization of a second shot aimed at slowing a pandemic that has killed nearly 310,000 people in the United States.

The panel voted that the benefits of the highly effective vaccine outweighed its risks for people individuals 18 years of age and older.

The FDA plans to authorize the vaccine Friday, according to knowledgeable individuals who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the schedule.

Gen. Gustave F. Perna, who is leading the federal effort in getting vaccine shipments out to states, has already prepped his team to ship nearly 6 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to 3,285 locations in the first week upon approval.

News Round-Up: December 15, 2020

Riotron releases surprise holiday single, ‘Silent Night Angel’ (promo photo)

Some news items you might have missed:

Instinct Magazine: Hungary’s parliament has voted to amend the country’s constitution defining families as ‘the mother is a woman, the father is a man.’ This effectively bans LGBTQ people from adopting since queer people cannot marry in the conservative nation.

NY Times: A day after the U.S. surpassed 300,000 deaths due to the coronavirus, the FDA has confirmed Moderna’s assessment that its vaccine had an efficacy rate of 94.1 percent in a trial of 30,000 people. With expected approval on Friday, six million doses could begin shipping across the country.

Christmas Music: Canadian retrowave pop artist Riotron (above photo) returns with a surprise holiday single titled “Silent Night Angel.” Riotron’s Jeff Fettes says, “For me, the holiday season is magical, but also intense and full of surprises. This is my version of a carol.”

Ipsos Polling: New polling shows more than one in four Americans (27%) say they plan to get the vaccine as soon as it’s available, more than double the number that said the same in mid-September (13%). Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) trust the FDA to look out for the best interests of their family.

USA Today: A judge in Phoenix jettisoned a lawsuit claiming widespread election fraud in Arizona, saying the plaintiff had no standing to challenge the state’s election results because she was not registered to vote.

The Advocate: Mike Pence is being mocked for his exuberant entrance to a campaign event where he “prance-clapped” across a tarmac in order to stump for Georgia Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. It’s like he was just called down on The Price Is Right.

Coronavirus Vaccinations Begin Across U.S.

(photo: Daniel Schludi/Unsplash)

The Washington Post reports vaccinations for the coronavirus have begun today as nearly 3 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are being delivered to 636 locations across the U.S.

More pandemic news from the Post:

• After having passed on the opportunity to secure an additional 100 million doses of the vaccine from Pfizer, the U.S.  is in talks with the pharma company for acquiring more in the second quarter of 2021, but no deal has been confirmed.

• Donald Trump reversed course on a plan to have some White House staff members be among the first Americans vaccinated. The plan had been criticized in light of the Trump White House’s downplaying of the severity of the pandemic.

• There’s also a late-to-the-dance public service campaign being launched to encourage people to take the vaccine Trump says he pushed so hard for. While more than eight in 10 Americans currently say they would take the vaccine, many are divided on the question of how soon.

Trump Administration Passed On Purchasing Additional Pfizer Vaccine

From the New York Times:

Trump administration officials passed when Pfizer offered in late summer to sell the U.S. government additional doses of its Covid-19 vaccine, according to people familiar with the matter.

Now Pfizer may not be able to provide more of its vaccine to the United States until next June because of its commitments to other countries, they said.

As the administration scrambles to try to purchase more doses of the vaccine, President Trump plans on Tuesday to sign an executive order “to ensure that United States government prioritizes getting the vaccine to American citizens before sending it to other nations,” according to a draft statement and a White House official, though it was not immediately clear what force the president’s executive order would carry.

As I understand it, Pfizer has a contract with the U.S. to deliver 100 million doses. Any more would be a new order.

And, as Pfizer wasn’t part of Operation Warp Speed and received no federal funds for research and development, the company isn’t beholden to the U.S.

In related news, the CEOs of vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna have declined an invitation to attend a “vaccine summit” (read that as “photo opp – victory lap”) at the White House tomorrow.

News Round-Up: December 4, 2020

Some news items you might have missed:

Edge Media: A new report published by the Washington Post suggests that President-elect Joe Biden may have won the 2020 election because of higher LGBTQ voter turnout.

Pew Research: A new poll shows 60% of American adults say they will get vaccinated for the coronavirus, up from 51% in September.

CNBC: Sidney Powell, who has already been booted from the Trump legal team, asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit to order Georgia officials to “preserve all data on the Dominion System” and allow “Republican Electors to audit” that system in 10 counties. Finding it has no jurisdiction to hear the appeal, the 11th Circuit Court sent the Kraken lawsuit back to its cage in the District Court.

Nevada Independent: A Carson City District Court judge rejected a legal request to award the state’s six electoral votes to Donald Trump. Judge James Russell ruled that he found the evidence offered by the Trump campaign to have “little to no value,” and failed to provide under any standard of proof that the campaign’s long list of alleged fraud and vote irregularities could be backed up under any evidentiary standard.

Detroit Free Press: Team Trump also lost in Michigan today as well. The court chastised the campaign for dragging its feet on the appeal, said the certification of Michigan’s election results by the Board of State Canvassers in the interim had made the lawsuit moot, and said that if the Trump campaign wanted to challenge the results it could have requested a recount, but it did not.

WXKY Radio: New York Young Republicans hoped to keep the New Jersey location of their annual fundraiser a secret but were outed by folks tweeting from the party. Jersey City chief prosecutor Jake Hudnut responded to a tweet by an attendee taunting New York Gov. Cuomo to “come and get me” by tweeting “Gov. Cuomo may not be able to ‘come and get’ you, but I can.”